By Kimberly Krautter
A very dear friend just made a lighthearted quip on his Facebook page thanking Trump for ensuring the election of the first woman as U.S. President. A little levity is a good thing.
But here's what has my hair on fire. It's not quite a slam dunk. If the Bernie Sanders supporters stay home and refuse to vote, as many have threatened, out of a misguided attempt to "usher in the revolution," then Trump could very well win.
By the way, that quote was stated by Sanders surrogate Susan Sarandon on CNBC, and it has been openly echoed by many of my Facebook friends and Twitter followers before and since. Sarandon and folks of her ilk were proponents of Ralph Nader's third party run in 2000. There was never any way for Nader to get more than 7% of the popular vote because that was the extent of his popularity (for POTUS, as opposed to the general respect for all he had accomplished; there's a difference).
Nader got 2.74% of the popular vote in the 2000 presidential election. Even if half of his voters had stayed home, the remaining 1% (or 1.4 million voters) would have surely voted for Al Gore, and we would never have had a hanging chad situation.
So, in my estimation, everyone who voted for Nader is responsible for the entire George W. Bush administration, and all of the blood and shredding of our civil liberties and privacy that resulted. These same people are now threatening to allow a Trump presidency because they just "can't support Hillary." They proudly proclaim they will "vote their conscience."
I wonder if they want this on their conscience? The next U.S. President will appoint three, possibly four, Supreme Court Justices. If that person is Trump, those justices will be right-wing hardliners who believe in the supremacy of the corporate oligarchy. Given all of Trump's on-the-record statements, the worst of which he has doubled-down on, we can expect that his presidency will result in the reversal of every single civil liberty advancement of the 20th century, including all gay rights, all racial equality, all women's rights, the minimum wage, Social Security and Medicare -- which, by the way, are programs we have all paid into; they are not a government handouts. It's our cash that is withheld.
All of this is in addition to the clear and present danger of placing our national security in the hands of someone so unstable and undisciplined as Donald J. Trump.
So, while this morning's news might make for fun late night comedy, I am actually more frightened than ever.
Is Hillary Clinton an ideal candidate? No, I don't think so for many reasons. Can she do the job? Yes, I think so, and very ably. Do some of her positions and past performances worry me? Yes, but no candidate is perfect, and that's why we have checks and balances at the federal and state levels across the legislative and judicial branches.
Are the advancements of personal freedom, equality, and social justice and the future of the middle class more secure under Hillary Clinton's leadership? Absolutely.
Does every vote matter? Never more so than now. Please don't throw yours away.